God, defined as a supreme being, the ultimate ruler of the universe and source of all moral authority. As a child born into a Muslim family, that explanation sounded legitimate enough. Natural instinct was to be a Muslim too because as African children we were taught our elders had all the answers, well that worked for a while for me.
My first dilemma started after I started to understand the meaning and implication of the 9/11 attacks. Despite the conspiracy rumors/ theories surrounding the attacks, the Muslim community was in an uproar. Disputes over whose wishes al-Qaeda was carrying out, opinions were formed, sides were taken. The Islamic world had too many questions it couldn’t answer. Muslims around the world were abused, stigmatized and killed. For me, 9/11 was just a mere news headline. What it did to me was spark up curiosity. Curiosity, that led me to research deeper into other controversial or unpopular Islamic doctrines. The question of forgiveness, female rights, basic human freedom, and constraints of human rights. The religion itself is a constitution to its own nation and its influence on an individual’s life is total and whole. Clearly even the so-called “Religion of Peace” was flawed.
Still a half-hearted devout Muslim, my second dilemma was a result of attending a quasi-missionary school when my family moved again for the umpteenth time. Sitting in CRK (Christian Religion Knowlege) class, Chapel, and Sunday services, I started to saunter towards Christianity. More of curiosity than faith. I learned quickly that very similar to Islam and all other monotheistic religions, there’s a confirmation of a single supreme being with power and control over all creatures. Despite clarity on my former statement, the Bible itself got more and more confusing the deeper I got, questions I could never ask for fear of blaspheming came to my mind. I remember one time a friend of mine quoted sometimes it feels “like reading the diary of a mad man”. There were so many contradictory claims about accounts of similar events. More than anything my mind was boggled by the concern that despite the fact that Jesus taught us to better our lives and that of those around us, the Roman leaders after his death might have exaggerated his divinity because of their political propaganda. Christianity was a spreading religion and of course, the Roman leaders wanted to lay their claim to the throne of its origin if this growing religion became a theological super-power. To further assist the assimilation of the religion, after Christianity was made the official religion of Rome, the leaders converted pagan gods worship times and dates to that of the new Christian God. So they still get to celebrate on their pagan dates, just to a new God this time. And all these is barely scratching the surface. I learned that Christianity in its entirety has a really dark past after Jesus’ death that the modern Christian world chooses to ignore because of their emotional attachment to the faith and that’s what led me to my third dilemma. Logic.
You see, Logic provides all the answers. Common sense works like magic. It explains everything. You look at everything subjectively, believe only the possible and nullify the rest. I lived within this deduction and hence concluded that there was no such thing as a god because it was a completely illogical belief. For awhile.
Well, you see, unlike every twitter atheist that became one after reading Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code, I quickly grew weary of logic’s derivations. There were still questions logic couldn’t answer. If there was no God what of occurrences like luck, chance or grace that could only simply be explained as an act of a supernatural being? Using logic to address issues related to God seemed a lot like cowering away from questions our minds were too boggled to answer yet calling the only available explanations mediocre because we are afraid of subjecting to the great unknown. Theology explains most of these things to us, gives us an explanation for life and death and even the great beyond. I concluded that eventually, we may have to admit, there are just somethings we are not supposed to understand. This led me to my final dilemma.
These days I have come to the conclusion that there is a God. Although I am still boggled by why there are so many ways to reach him even though we all recognize he is one and only and I still have no major religion or system of belief, I am still certain there is definitely a God. Naturally, theological discussions are the worst because we humans always cloak our ignorance under our emotional attachment to whatever religion we believe in, nullifying the rest. Despite the fact that every one of us is only living on hopes and promises of divine grace oblivious of the fact that we may not be on the right path ourselves. That’s why I consider people that criticize one faith at the expense of glorifying the other as the stupidest people in the world.
In conclusion, I believe there is a God because realistically a phenomenon being deemed illogical doesn’t always mean it’s not true likewise an ideology being thoughtfully logical doesn’t mean it can’t be wrong. You see, I believe that religion solely thrives on faith. Faith is defined in the religious context as a strong belief in God or religious doctrines based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof. This goes to say that If the existence of God and a belief system was logical, religion wouldn’t need faith. All religious clerics will strive for will be convincing their congregations with plausible explanations backed by hard facts rather than the promise of a divine miracle, heaven or grace from a higher power. This would also easily translate miracles don’t exist, which I think we can all categorically say is a completely invalid statement. Faith itself is the beauty of miracles. This is because if we could “divinely” explain every single occurrence that happened to us, it wouldn’t be a miracle anymore, life would be ordinary and human actions or inactions will lose its meaning too easily.
There may be doubts on the complexities about the mechanism of how God works, questions of how he came to be, or even questions about why there are seemingly so many religions and belief systems to reach him through. But, that shouldn’t invalidate his existence because miracles are evident enough. Except you’re not doing something as minute as breathing right now, you have no right to say miracles don’t exist.